It’s no secret: most business put all their attention in the wrong place. Tons of money is spent attracting new customers and growing brand awareness when new customers don’t spend nearly enough to really make the effort worth it in the long run.
When you’re marketing to a prospective customer, you only have a 13 percent chance of persuading them to make a purchase. But repeat customers have a 60 to 70 percent chance of buying.
Do you want new customers? Of course! But recurring customers spend an average of 67 percent more than new customers. So, sure, you don’t want to ignore boosting your brand awareness altogether, but you should focus more of your resources on your current customers.
Focusing more attention on your customers means you not only get another potential sale (or two) out of them, but also increases your chances of turning that customer into a brand evangelist.
What’s a brand evangelist?
A brand evangelist is someone who goes above and beyond your average customer. They’ve purchased from you, but they also get more involved than your typical fan, spreading positive reviews, convincing others to purchase from you, showing you love on social media, and more.
The great thing about brand evangelists is that they do a large part of your job for you. And their word is more convincing.
Everyone reads online reviews, and studies show that 84 percent of people trust an online review as much as a personal recommendation. That means the power of a brand evangelist can actually be stronger than any marketing you create yourself. You obviously have an agenda (to make sales) – but brand evangelists have no agenda other than sharing their honest opinions. What’s more trustworthy than that?
But few brand evangelists appear out of thin air. If you’ve got a great product or service, you’ve already crossed a major hurdle. A great product is what’ll earn you their trust more than anything. If your product is lacking, start your work there. As they say, don’t put the cart before the horse.
Then, you can focus on the more steady work of converting those who’ve purchased into your biggest fans.
5 Ways to Turn Customers into Brand Evangelists
Be warned: this is a long game. It requires a commitment to great customer service, regular content creation, transparent communication, and more. It also requires being available everywhere your customers might reach out to you – on social media, on review sites, via email, on your website, and anywhere people can leave comments.
It’s a lot, but with the right strategy, you can be efficient in your efforts and start seeing a noticeable shift in your revenue streams.
1. Keep communicating after the sale.
Don’t stop talking to your customers after they’ve converted. Most successful companies don’t; they continue to provide resources, entertain, delight, and inform even after a sale has been made. Besides the opportunity to close another sale (product accessories, anyone?), maintaining this communication also gives you the opportunity to provide value in a meaningful way.
For instance, offering product or service tutorials can help answer questions your customer didn’t even know they had. Or, if they already know how to use your product or service, they might learn a new tip or trick they didn’t realize.
Thank you videos and welcome videos are a perfect example of content that delights. They don’t necessarily provide much new information, but show how committed you are to your customer and that you’re willing to invest in their happiness. Plus, if your video brings a smile to their face, you’ve definitely left a positive brand impression.
Don’t forget other video types, like FAQ videos and next-step videos, which can outline the rest of a process or answer questions the user might have about what they’ve purchased.
2. What do customers love about your brand?
You’ve likely received a lot of feedback, either on your social channels, from your customer services representatives, or through other digital avenues. And that means you (hopefully) know what’s working. So yell it from the rooftops!
Share the best things you have to offer with your customers. Highlight your best features, your most helpful tips of the trade, unexplored benefits, and more. The thing your customers rave is about is likely what will draw new customers in and get you the most referrals, so boost that content!
One way to do that? Publish videos showing off your best assets. Use tips and tricks videos or product review videos that cover what exactly makes you so great. These video are excellent in the nurturing stage of the video marketing funnel, but also serve to reignite passion in your top customers. And if they share this content for themselves, that’ll earn you more sales.
This example by Seattle Coffee Gear is a two-in-one: they not only feature a customer-submitted recipe, but they also show you how to use their machine and give you a tasty tip for making your next hot coffee drink.
3. Thank your customers for their continued support.
The best way to thank your customers without coming off as greedy or self-promotional? Don’t be greedy or self-promoting! If you thank your best customers for their referrals or positive word of mouth in a totally authentic and sincere way, they’ll notice (and you’ll score big points).
Best of all, most customer appreciation efforts won’t cost you much. Whether it’s an extra month of free service, a free sample pack, or a handwritten thank you card, these efforts are pretty small potatoes, but to your customers – they’re huge.
A great way to thank your customers is by creating a short video showing them your appreciation. You can feature real customers in a short montage, you can highlight one specific customer and their story, or you can create a simpler video with a straightforward message made up of graphics and text.
Here’s a beautiful example from TD Bank. They created a thank you video series, along with promotional campaigns that highlighted some of the lengths they went to to thank their customers.
4. Highlight your biggest champions.
Along those same lines, highlighting specific customers who have helped promote your brand or who have amazing stories of their own to tell is a quick way to turn a customer into a brand evangelist.
Getting noticed, even just for saying something nice, is always rewarding; but it’s especially rewarding when a seemingly big company does it. It makes customers feel special and can show that more human side of your business, which is always a win.
This content usually creates itself when customers leave positive messages on your social channels or positive reviews on review sites. With the proper permissions, you can re-publish these messages with a little shout-out to the person who left them. Or if you see someone consistently talking up your brand, send them a personal message with a thank you and ask them to elaborate on their feelings.
Customer spotlight videos are great for highlighting positive feedback in video form. Of course they show off how you helped one of your customers, but it also gives your customer an opportunity to share their story, their advice, and their experience firsthand.
5. Run special social promotions to engage your customers.
Struggling to find the right stories to share? You know you’ve got customers, but maybe they just don’t share their feedback as often or as consistently as you’d like. This is where special promotions can come in handy.
Offering an incentive for customer feedback, a contest, or even promoting a special hashtag can help you gather enough user-generated content for a few campaigns. Though you may incentivize a promotion or two, the more your audience begins participating, the more organic sharing you’ll ignite. Think about Starbucks’ cup art – what started with one artist sharing her work with her audience sparked an entire movement of organic content creation and even sponsored content from the company itself.
The key to turning your average customer into a brand evangelist? Communication! Positive customer service goes a long way, but the more you communicate with your customers, the better an impression you’ll leave. Be there to walk them through onboarding, offer them special tips, give them the resources they’ll need to be successful with your product or service, and finally – and this one’s the clincher – be kind, friendly, and understanding.
Thanks to how engaging video is, it’s one of the best (and easiest) ways to engage your audience post-sale. With video, they’re more likely to not only retain the information you share, but share it themselves, helping spread brand awareness for you and helping you close more sales.